Photos are Life.
No matter what it is you do, if you’re living and breathing as a human today, you probably own a cell phone. That cell phone likely has the capability to take photos, and those photos will stay with you – likely in your iCloud- for the rest of time. That’s at least the plan.
I’ve personally been taking photos for many years. I only started discovering I had a knack for taking them when on a break (anyone else always think of the Friends episodes where Ross yells, “WE WERE ON A BREAK!” every time you hear the words?) from my main profession. You probably already know what I do, and that traditionally, that field has absolutely NOTHING to do with photos.
But these days, I beg to differ.
Images have everything to do with the practice of medicine, and I’ve used them myself, to connect.
Medicine and Photos.
When I stepped back into the medical arena, after a short hiatus to be home with my kids, I decided with all my heart and soul that I wouldn’t give up the creative side I had discovered along the way.
On the road I’m now traveling on, they play a crucial part – valuable not only for professional social media use, but also as memories, capturing important life moments I would otherwise forget.
If you want to read why we should be on social media in the first place, or what role it plays in a physician’s life, read my article on Top 5 Reasons Why Doctors Should Be on Social Media (sneak peak: we use it to change healthcare, promote our businesses, and even beat burnout).
How I capture such unique moments in my photos is a frequently asked question, when I share my work with other physicians. So is, “Do you use an iPhone?”
Yes, I use a simple iPhone. It’s true, the quality isn’t as great as it can be using DSLR cameras, but it rocks in other ways.
For starters, your iPhone is with you at all times. It’s in your pocket, and it’s easy to use. Nowadays, that’s all you really need, to dress up your blog, or FB post, or even just for memories from a family vacation. Second, there isn’t major downloading involved. Third, it’s so small, and easily accessible. I’ll spare you the other reasons and get on to the juicy parts.
Without further ado, here are 13 tips for taking fabulous iPhone photos.
13 Tips for Taking Fabulous iPhone Photos
Think through what you’d like to show in your image. If it’s scenery, then how much of element do you want to show? Maybe you’d like more sky, less land. Maybe more nature, less people. Maybe you want extra space on top, to add in words later, when you edit.
Taking in Iceland, below, and instead of cropping out the vast blue space of the sky, I used it to fill with a semi-transparent geotag (the location, so we’ll always remember). Makes for a fabulous shot.
If it’s people you want to capture, then consider who is in the shot and what you want to show them doing. Are you going for natural or posed? What is its purpose? Is it for a memory album, or for public use in social media? Do you want the individual faces to show? Details matter, and they can be kinked out in advance, if appropriately planned. And if not, no worries, you can try to simply edit.
2. Real Life Randomness Make the Best Shots.
My favorite shots are every day, real life shots.
Really. Like a bowl of my quinoa lunch.
Or a stack of photos photo. Yep, They make for a cool shot AND a cool play on words. You’d never think it but the colors themselves were calling out my name when I took this (which brings me to the next point)..
3. Vivid/Bold Colors are Spectacular.
If something really speaks to you (and let’s not be too literal here, because if something really speaks to you, you may need to seek medical help), snap a shot of it.
It can be as simple as the chair of your barber beckoning you forth..
Or a table, set for din-din, while away, its contrasting colors dancing, one with another..
4. Think Outside the Box.
Not every photo has to fit into a set criteria. If you see something special through a window, do you always have to open that window?
Below, the view captured through a museum window at the Louvre, in France.
I love how subdued the colors look, and then there’s that French flag, just begging for attention..
Another window, below. This time, the subject sits in front, taking on the view of an ancient dome, outside the window, in the Middle East.
What better advertising for travel with children than that!
5. Close Ups.
Close ups bring detail to life. You don’t always even know that those details exist.
A door handle in Spain..
A business card holder, held up against the marble floor.
The reflection of an outstretched hand, hazy on its metal flap.
Held up for display, begging to be in the shot.
6. Take Many.
Snap, snap, snap and snap. Because the more you take, the bigger the selection to choose from, at the end.
Start out like this..
and end with this, when all is said and done.
You don’t have to choose just one! Create photos within photos, that, put together, make a point.
(yep, below is me, in my happy place, with my fam):
Clearly, there’s limitations to taking many photos, in real life.
Like time. Like storage (minimized this day and age by our huge phone storage capabilities). Like kids refusing. Like husbands whining that you take way too long and they want to keep moving and you’re holding everyone up and..
Sorry, I got sidetracked by my own setbacks, but you get the point.
7. Not Posed.
Not every photo must be posed. I’ve gotten some of my favorite shots with a random click, mid-sentence. Or mid-bite. Or even mid-squinting-into-a-telescope.
Notice that instead of focusing on the game itself, I thought it would make for a great shot if I focused on the team, looking on from the bench.
End result? Shot heaven.
8. Symmetry Not Pre-Requisite.
I love off-centered shots. Not always, but when fits.
Try it. Bottom line is not to pass on a shot just because most of the image isn’t captured, or has passed your field of view (like when shooting from a vehicle). Take the photo anyway and worse comes to worst, delete (my most utilized function).
Below, off-centered but fabulous: Korean-inspired barley tea.
Which brings me to..
9. Delete is Your Friend.
Let’s face it, my kids are the equivalent of movie stars. Because I am the equivalent of the paparazzi
(they’re going to thank me one day, for the memories)..
Be a paparazzi. But then don’t be afraid to delete!
Confession: I’m personally still working on this one, because I can’t get myself to do away with shots of my kids, no matter the position I catch them in. I end up saving them: looking left, looking right, squinting from the flash, or furrowed brow, as they yell out for me to:
“STOP TAKING PICTURES!”
10. Minimize ‘noise’.
What I mean by noise is the extra activity around you that, 1 – can be modified and 2 – distracts from the subject at hand.
For example, if a lot of people surround you, and you’d rather not have them in, try shooting from the angle that blocks them out.
Below, my son and I on a Brooklyn street, filled with people when photo was taken. But with careful manipulation of angle and timing, we got the perfect shot.
I love the way in which the liquor bottles reflect beautifully in the background of the shot, below. I minimized the noise by cutting out the surroundings, and focused on the only thing that mattered – the active emptying out of the soda pop bottle.
11. Play with angles.
Squat. Lean forward. Take a side shot. Come up really close. Stand on tiptoes and shoot facing down.
Experiment with angles and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you find.
Walking around the streets of Portugal, I looked up and saw this (& instantaneously felt the artist in me light up).. a super cool angle, to say the least.
Whereas with my son playing piano, I leaned forward and peered down..
Even from a side angle, you can capture a pretty cool shot. My son again, this time already framed, in the still of a pose:
From the bottom, looking up. A camel ride in the Middle East, with cousin:
13 Tips for Taking Fabulous iPhone Photos (Just What the Doctor Ordered) Click To Tweet
12. Cutting off is ok (we’re not in line..)
You don’t always need an entire person in the shot. Or a full face, for that matter.
There are simply no rules.
Below, my happy place, at Giverny, France.
An art piece, cut off precisely at the right angle.
It may not look that way, but the lighting in this particular room cast a shadow on the piece below that simply didn’t look good. So instead, I just cut half of it out.
Still works, and even makes a statement, at that!
13. Subjects vary
Sometimes it’s fun to compose a photo just a little bit differently than you’re used to.
Play around with your imagination, and create something that stands out.
This photo started off with me, simply walking down the street. A little photo shop and touch up here and there, and *voila*, I look like I’m taking a spacey spin.
Not only is my subject busy and completely not looking my way, she’s also mid-bend and mid-draw..
(and even channeling a little 90’s Blind Melon.)
End result? Mid-moment and so, so cool.
That’s it. Those are my pointers.
I realize that they may be pretty simple, and that I may be wearing the Captain Obvious hat in this post, but so many of you have asked for ways to take better photos, and I’m happy to share simple tips with you here. If I learned something along the way, on this blogging journey, is that simple instructions help.
So pick up your smart phone and start snapping. When you open your mind up to the creative possibilities out there, you can make magic happen – and right in the palm of your hand.
I’d love to hear what you think. Leave comments below or share this with those you think may enjoy.So pick up your smart phone and start snapping. When you open your mind up to the creative possibilities out there, you can make magic happen - and right in the palm of your hand. #iphonephotography #sometips Click To Tweet